Kettle of Kites // @Hug & Pint // 24/01/20

Fronted by lyricist, Tom Stearn formerly of Admiral Fallow fame who is based in Genoa alongside bassist Pietro Martineli, with Riccardo Chiaberta on drums, based in London and finally guitarist Marco Giongrandi based in Brussels the band blend contemporary melodies with each character imbued with a sense of self identity.

Kettle of Kites are an influential band of brothers that hail from a scattering of cities across Europe, which lends to their rich sound.

The quartet find themselves packed into a bustling Hug and Pint as part of the city’s Celtic Connections Festival, alongside Independent Venue Week, with an audience as seemingly diverse as the band themselves (the room is thick with European accents).

Playing tracks mainly from recent album ‘Arrows’ a buzzing lo-fi electronic, cinematic, soundscape concept album dedicated to the work of seminal sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov.

Stearn is very relaxed on stage and has some jovial banter back and forth with the audience when one shouts ‘Robots!’ he laughs and explains that yes, indeed this next song is all about Robots. The band launch into ‘Oliver’, a hauntingly mesmerising ode to the love between a human and a machine. Stearns orchestral baritone envelopes the venue while the post rock scuzz of the guitars are reminiscent of Caribou or Radiohead.

During the extended intro to ‘Orchid’ the band displayed some sensational rhythmic clapping to great effect – had this been a category in the Olympics I’m sure they would have been awarded a gold medal.

The song itself is a euphoric sweeping soundscape that stands as a warning to the delicate tipping point that we see our planet currently precariously hanging in the balance of. It’s moody and melancholic and also beautiful.

Other stand out tracks included ‘Supernova’ an upbeat ditty that nods it’s cap to both Four Tet and Lemon Jelly alike, and also ‘Lights Go Out’ where Stearns vocals sound similar to Anohni formerly of (Antony & the Johnsons).

The band are last spotted energetically conversing with fans at the side of the stage as they sell their vynil and chat openly with aficionados who are well versed in their work. I casual DIY effort from a band who produce a rich tapestry of sounds inspired by the stars.

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